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Activists call for peace as Philadelphia homicide rate continues to top deadliest year on record – CBS Philly


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As Philadelphia’s homicide rate tops this time last year, activists are responding to the rise in numbers and calling for peace. On Saturday, they walked down Baltimore Avenue to Cobbs Creek Park.

The Commandoes Drill and Drum team led the march for peace as it made its way to the Tyhir Barnes Anti-Gun Violence Memorial Basketball Classic.

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“I’m just saying, ‘Lay down the guns,'” Tanisha Pratt-Thomas said. “You just have to put your arms down, it’s heartbreaking for parents to lose their child.”

For Pratt-Thomas, it’s personal. On Saturday, his son would be 21 years old.

“Tyhir was 15 when he was killed, and it seems these children are getting younger and younger,” she said.

Philadelphia has now reported at least 326 homicides, four more than this time last year, which was the deadliest year on record for the city.

According to the police, 10% of the victims are under the age of 18.

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“It’s so sad, it’s really sad, but that’s why these kinds of events are important,” said Terrilynn Donnell. “It takes us all.”

The Klutch Kings Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club participated in the event on Saturday, helping to serve as mentors and helping to provide other outlets for children.

“We just want to do our part not only when we work for the city, but also in our spare time, trying to mitigate some of this gun violence,” said Sergio Diggs of the Philadelphia Police Department.

As the number of crimes increases, community members are trying to raise awareness of safe spaces and other outlets for children.

And Pratt-Thomas encourages parents to step in, help stop the abuse and not have to endure its pain.

“Check your kid’s room, put the guns down,” Pratt-Thomas said. “All I ask for is peace. It has to stop and start with the parents.

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For a list of resources on gun violence in Philadelphia, click here.


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